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The Duties of a Cat

it was amazing 5.00  ·  Rating details ·  6 ratings  ·  7 reviews
These poems celebrate the essential nature of the cat, friend and alien, following in a long and proud tradition of feline verse from a distinguished lineage of poets:

We who have known loneliness
sigh for the beast. The addled creature lurks,
dark-scraggled, out of our cajoling reach.

Printed on thick creamy paper and encased in a cellophane wrapper, these attractive pamph
Paperback, 24 pages
Published December 2013 by Pitt Street Poetry
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it was amazing Average rating 5.00  · 
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Judy Johnson
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely, complex and thought provoking little poetry book about the inner and outer lives of cats. I was struck by the nuance and complexity the author managed to bring to the poems–how they opened up from their particular descriptions of animal behaviour into the larger emotional world we all share. There is wonderful sound play in the poems which make them a joy to the inner ear as well as the eye. And apart from all of those pleasures, just the look of the book is a visual feast. Hig ...more
S.B. Wright
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Poetry featuring cats is not unheard of, T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is one famous example, though I am not sure how many folks realise this collection of light hearted rhyme formed the basis for the musical Cats. Then of course the internet is powered by pictures of cute kittens. So on the face of it, a collection of cat poems is probably a very good idea.

The Duties of a Cat is described by publishers, Pitt Street Poetry as a pamphlet, a collection of 12 poems. It’s similar
Timons Esaias
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This delightful little mini-chapbook is by a fellow SFPA member, and was given to our household by yet another SFPA member. This collection is about cats, though, and their alien-ness is a minor theme.

I admire the slight touch of color to the illustration scheme. (The illustrations are all black-and-white, with a copper trim, but the copper is also a third color in the cover illustration; and there's a full color photo of the author and her cat, as well.)

I'm an admirer of Blackford's poems (we p
Mary Soon Lee
Nov 07, 2016 added it
Shelves: poetry
This small and lovely book contains a dozen beautifully-observed cat poems by Jenny Blackford, perfectly accompanied by Michael Robson's illustrations. The poems capture the essence of the house cat, living alongside us, but never entirely tamed. The opening poem compares a lounging cat to a seal pup:

the eyes are wrong - not endless wells of tragic
black, but chips of blue-grey glacial ice.

The second poem, which is also the title poem, describes seven of a cat's duties, beginning with:
L.J. Hayward
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully packaged little collection of sweet, funny and intelligent truths about cats. My favourites were the title poem, "The Duties of a Cat" and the last one, "Soft silk sack". Jenny captures the essence of these fierce, amusing and charming creatures wonderfully.
Anyone who loves cats in all their shapes, sizes and personalities will find many, many things to enjoy here.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Gorgeously illustrated book of poetry on the subject of cats. Jenny Blackford captures their essential natures so well. I loved these lines - from the last poem of the small collection, entitled Soft silk sack.

He sleeps as if
the world's supplies of dreams
were running out.

Now on my lap
a soft silk sack of bones
turns, warm, against my thigh.
George Ivanoff
Loved it! Especially "Something in the Corner". ...more
Susan Booker
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Apr 26, 2014
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Three Sisters
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Jenny Blackford
Oct 02, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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Jenny's first full-length book of poetry, THE LOYALTY OF CHICKENS, was published by Pitt Street Poetry in 2017. They also published THE DUTIES OF A CAT, an illustrated suite of her cat poems, in 2013. Her degree was in Classics (Greek and Latin). Pamela Sargent called her subversively feminist historical novella set in ancient Athens and Delphi, THE PRIESTESS AND THE SLAVE, "elegant."


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